Personal injury law firms and specifically mass tort departments increasingly find themselves working with virtual companies and/or adding a virtual part to their practice. This allows staff to focus on other aspects of their case load and other operational roles. Medical records are basic for personal injury situations, and a timely and smooth course of action is important to ensure proper discovery. consequently, outsourcing medical records management adds a specialized course of action to personal injury law firms.
Outsourced Medical Records Management-How can a virtual team help?
Client Questionnaires – In most situations, the Discovery course of action starts with clients completing a client questionnaire. The responsibilities of contacting clients and completing the questionnaire via the telephone can be outsourced to a virtual team. This will include calling the client to uncover meaningful medical elements such as doctor’s information including dates of visits, surgery dates, and/or applicable drug use. This will allow the legal assistants within the law firm time to focus on other responsibilities and will save the firm time and money in the early stages of the case.
Medical Records Retrieval – After the medical and provider information has been collected and a HIPAA Authorization Form has been obtained by the client, the medical records retrieval course of action can commence. This course of action includes the requestor submitting requests with the HIPAA form to Healthcare Organizations including Release of Information, Health Information Management, and Medical Records Departments. The method of retrieval will depend on the department or organizations’ processes and policies. In some situations, the request can be faxed and in other situations the requests must be sent with an original identifying characteristics. Outsourcing the retrieval course of action can be a win for most law firms because the time of action can be time consuming and is an important part of winning situations.
Follow up calls to alleviate backlog – A big part of medical records retrieval and management is the outbound call course of action. Several follow up calls must be made. This is another meaningful area in which outsourcing will help alleviate backlogs among the law firm’s legal and administrative staff. This course of action is twofold:
1. Making follow up calls to requestees to first ensure receipt of the request and to stay on top of the workflow and estimated time of arrival of the records. In some situations, this may average 2-10 calls per month.
2. Secondly, the follow call ensures or uncovers any missing information or the need to resubmit records. In many situations, the health organizations and records departments subcontract the records course of action to a copying service and/or online health portal companies and calls must be made to these companies in addition. This arduous task can easily be outsourced to assist the firm.
Eliminating Overwhelm – Working with a virtual sustain person or team can change morale for the better in law firms. If your legal assistant staff is overwhelmed, outsourcing some of their responsibilities can help alleviate their workload and cut down on staff overwhelm. This includes the medical records retrieval course of action in both whole or in part. In the end, this will assist with turnover and create a sustainable firm.
Adding a virtual part to your law firm’s strategy is a great way to position your firm for growth and an additional competitive advantage. The conversation should start with your team. Talk to your case managers and legal assistants. Discuss the benefits of outsourcing the medical records course of action with them.